Almost everyone deals with neck pain at some point. After all, who hasn’t woken up with a crick in their neck after sleeping in an uncomfortable position? Neck pain is common, with over 30% of adults in the United States experiencing some kind of diagnosable neck pain each year.
Thankfully, a lot of neck pain can be solved with over-the-counter pain relievers or gentle massaging. Sometimes, however, neck pain won’t go away so easily. If your neck pain lingers for weeks and weeks, you may be suffering from whiplash.
Do you have neck pain that’s interfering with your life? If so, come see us at Physical Medicine & Wellness Center of Northern Kentucky. Benton Dammel, DC, Ashley Phillips, APRN, and the rest of our team are dedicated to helping you find relief to your pain and other life-disrupting symptoms. Dr. Dammel is a highly skilled physician and chiropractor who practices comprehensive, evidence-based care to help his patients achieve lasting relief.
Learn more about the causes and symptoms of whiplash to see if it could be behind your pain.
The numbers on whiplash
More people suffer from whiplash than you might think. Some studies indicate that over 1 million people experience whiplash every year. Most recover, although it can take weeks, months, or even a year to find lasting relief. Unfortunately, about 10% of those who suffer whiplash injuries end up with symptoms that last a lifetime and may interfere with their everyday life and activities.
What is whiplash?
Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs as a result of an abrupt, forceful, and rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck. It’s called whiplash because the movements that cause the injury look similar to the snapping of a whip. The whiplash movement of the neck can overstretch the muscles and ligaments that support the spinal column. This damages the soft tissues of the neck, which can lead to pain and chronic neck issues.
What causes whiplash?
You probably associate whiplash with fender benders, and with good reason — the sudden impact of a car accident provides the perfect amount of forceful movement for a whiplash injury. Whiplash can also be caused by:
Roller coasters and other amusement park rides
Contact sports injuries
Slip and fall accidents
Falls from heights
In truth, any sudden and strong neck motion may cause whiplash.
You may not immediately feel the effects of whiplash. Most people develop symptoms within 24 hours, but it may take days for you to feel the full effects. Common symptoms include:
Neck pain and stiffness
Pain in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades
Low back pain
Pain or numbness in the arms and/or hands
Difficulty concentrating or remembering
Irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue
Severe and chronic cases, described as whiplash associated disorder, may also include depression, stress, frustration, and anxiety as symptoms.
Whiplash treatment largely depends on the severity of your condition and the level of pain you’re feeling. We treat your soft tissue pain with massage, electrical stimulation, therapeutic ultrasound, and hot or cold therapy. To help you regain your range of motion and rebuild your neck strength, chiropractic adjustments and rehabilitation may be the right answer.